Friday, January 18, 2019

After winning the Super Bowl last season, the Denver Broncos knew they would have an offseason filled with tough decisions because they had some unrestricted free agents and a quarterback that was leaning towards retirement. Due to the uncertainty around the team, their NFL odds of winning the Super Bowl again are lower than you would expect for a team that won the Super Bowl the previous year.

(Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post from DenverFans.co)

(Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post from DenverFans.co)

Peyton Manning was in the midst of one of his worst seasons as a player, and an injury issue forced head coach Gary Kubiak to bench him in favor of Brock Osweiler in the middle of the season. When the playoffs started, Kubiak gave Manning the starting job back, and the Broncos were able to win the Super Bowl.

After the Super bowl, all signs pointed to Manning retiring but the Broncos were still holding out hope that he would want to play one more season. In March, Manning officially announced his retirement from the NFL, and most people assumed Osweiler would be the Broncos starter next season.

However, once free agency began, Osweiler turned down the Broncos offer and decided to sign with the Houston Texans. According to people close to Osweiler, he decided to leave the Super Bowl winners because he wasn’t happy about being benched in favor of Manning during the playoffs.

With both of their starters gone, the Broncos didn’t have an experienced NFL quarterback on their roster and decided to trade a 7th round pick in next year’s draft to Philadelphia for Mark Sanchez. The team also drafted Paxton Lynch as a potential quarterback of the future.

Before the draft, the Broncos tried to trade for Colin Kaepernick, and received permission from the San Francisco 49ers to negotiate a deal with Kaepernick and his agent, but they couldn’t agree on a deal because Kaepernick refused to take a pay cut.

Without a quarterback like Kaepernick in the lineup, Denver has to settle for Sanchez as their opening day starter, even though he hasn’t had much success as a starting quarterback since his first two seasons with the New York Jets. With discrepancy in talent level between Manning and Sanchez is significant, but if Sanchez can play the role of game manager without turning the ball over too much, the Broncos offense should be fine.

Having receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders give Sanchez the type of weapons he has never had in his career, which should help him be an effective quarterback in Denver. Gary Kubiak, who was also a quarterback in the NFL, has had success coaching up quarterbacks, and should be able to help Sanchez get the hang of things in Denver.

The Broncos defense, which was the best in the NFL last season, lost a few players, but they are expected to be among the best units in the league this year. However, they still haven’t resigned Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, who is the heart of the defense, which is something they need to get done before the season starts if they want to give themselves a chance to win the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year.

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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